After scaling the heights as Santa, Preston's Harry Mountain wants to play a Blinder

Ever wondered what Santa Claus gets up to for the rest of the year?

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 2:07 pm

Don't tell the kids, but veteran male model Harry Mountain is almost as busy playing different starring roles for the other 364 days as he is being Father Christmas.

This year, come Boxing Day, the 81-year-old former boxer and rock and roll singer is facing a whiskery dilemma - does he shave off his trademark Santa beard or risk getting typecast?

"I'm not sure what to do," confessed Harry, who has never been as busy playing the big man in red as he is this year.

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Harry looking the part as Santa (Image: Roy Hardman).

"People like the beard, but it doesn't suit all the roles I play the rest of the year. I'm probably going to have to get rid of it, but I'll wait and see how things go."

Harry's favourite role as a model is his Peaky Blinders look which brought him fame last year when he did a menacing photo-shoot wearing a flat cap and brandishing a Tommy gun.

For that character his craggy face is adorned by just a handlebar moustache and he isn't sure if adding a full beard would take something away from the classic gangster image.

His career as a model took off after images of his intimidating character appeared on TV. The look attracted 30,000 views on his Facebook page.

The Peaky Blinders pose that started it all for Harry.

Now the former joiner is in big demand for photo-shoots and personal appearances - as well as playing Father Christmas during December. Hence the problem with the beard.

"Some people say I should keep it and grow it even longer for next Christmas," he said at home in Fulwood. "To be honest I love this time of the year and seeing all the kids faces when they clap eyes on Santa is a real joy.

"But Father Christmas is only a few weeks and for the rest of the year I'm busy on all sorts of other things.

"I do a Chainsaw Massacre character for Halloween, a Viking, a wizard out of Harry Potter, a mad monk, a cowboy and Albert Einstein. I've also been asked to do characters from A Christmas Carol and Macbeth. I've got about 40 different costumes and 36 hats.

Harry has been collecting for Children in Need while playing Santa Claus (Image: Brian Sandham)..

"But it is the one from Peaky Blinders that I'm remembered most for. I did it for a phot-shoot last year and it just went mental.

"Right now I'm playing Santa almost every day building up to Christmas. I've never been so busy. And each time I'm collecting money for Children in Need.

"People might think that at 81 I should be sat at home with my slippers on, but I'm loving doing what I'm doing. It's a great life."

Harry is keen to break into films and confesses a role on his favourite Peaky Blinders, however small, would be a dream come true. He was denied his big screen debut last year in a film called Vengeance due to lockdown.

Ho, ho, ho, Santa Harry is flying around Lancashire as Father Christmas (Image: Steve King).

He doers regular photo-shoots for camera clubs around the north. But one he wouldn't want the children to see was when he played "Bad Santa" recently, being filmed with a scantily-clad model as an elf, holding a glass of whisky in one hand and making a very unSanta-like gesture with the other.

"That was a little movie we did," he laughed. "To be honest it was all good clean fun, just a laugh - but definitely not one for the kids."

To contact Harry go to Harry Mountain on Facebook.